Week 4 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded its international events on the turf on Sunday with two top-level jumper classes. WEF 4, sponsored by The Bainbridge Companies, produced a week of elite national and international competition, with all FEI competition taking place on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village. The morning started with the $75,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic CSI4* which saw victory for Samuel Hutton (GBR) and Abdel Saïd’s 13-year-old BWP gelding H&M Kirlo Van De Bosrand (Cardento 933 x Utrillo VD Heffinck) .
Anderson Lima’s (BRA) final 1.50m track of the week stumped a majority of the 42-horse field with several finishing on time faults and a multitude of others enduring a four-fault ending. Only a total of nine pairings were successful in their navigation of the course, and consisted of representatives of Ireland, United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Belgium. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) set the pace in the jump-off as the first to return and produced another clear round for a double-clean effort in a tight time with the Gizmo Partners LLC’s James Kann Cruz. Sweetnam held tight to the lead until Great Britain’s Samuel Hutton made his way back onto the field as one of the last to go. Hutton executed another flawless round to shave seven-tenths of a second from Sweetnam’s final number and finished in a time of 37.35 seconds.
“It was quite wet this morning, and I was a bit nervous to start because I haven’t jumped him on wet grass, but the footing was still fantastic,” explained Hutton. “When we got to the jump-off, there was an inside turn near the water that I hadn’t been planning to do, but Abdel [Saïd] came to me right before I went in and said to win, I had to do it. I thought it looked pretty tight but did it anyway and luckily it paid off.”
Hutton has not spent time at WEF in the past five years, but continued that he has so far been impressed with the competition and the venue.
“I have been really enjoying it here so far; there is amazing competition every week and the horses seem to like it here as well,” said Hutton. “I am hoping to get into one of the five-star events before the season is over but it is difficult with the caliber of riders here. I will keep trying though!”
Sweetnam’s time was still good enough to join the victory gallop with the red ribbon. He and the nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Kannan) had put forth a clear round through the timers in 37.42 seconds. Hyde Moffatt (CAN) rounded out the top three with Ariel Grange’s 14-year-old KWPN gelding Donjo (Zirocco Blue x Ahorn) after leaving all rails standing with a time of 39.55 seconds at the finish.
Final Results: $75,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic CSI4*
1. H&M KIRLO VAN DE BOSRAND: 2009 BWP gelding by Cardento 933 x Utrillo VD Heffinck
SAMUEL HUTTON (GBR), Abdel Saïd: 0/0/37.35
2. JAMES KANN CRUZ: 2013 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Kannan
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Gizmo Partners LLC: 0/0/37.42
3. DONJO: 2008 KWPN gelding by VDL Zirocco Blue x Ahorn
HYDE MOFFATT (CAN), Ariel Grange: 0/0/39.55
4. BALOTELLI 5: 2010 Hannoverian gelding by Balou Du Rouet x Contendro I
MATTHEW BODDY (GBR), Purple Road, LLC: 0/0/38.58
5. LANDON: 2008 Zangersheide gelding by Comilfo Plus Z x Quadrillo
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Haity McNerney: 0/0/43.59
6. DOTCOM D’AUTHUIT: 2013 Selle Francais mare by Diamant De Semilly x Quidam De Revel
NATALIE DEAN (USA), Marigold Sporthorses, LLC: 0/4/38.08
7. NATAN VAN’T LAARHOF: 2013 BWP stallion by Thunder Van De Zuuthoeve x Epleaser van’t Heike
ZOE CONTER (BEL), Stephex Stables: 0/4/36.68
8. TAJ MAHAL: 2013 Zangersheide stallion by Emerald van’t Ruytershof x Quannan R
CIAN O’CONNOR (IRL), Coolmore Show Jumping: 0/4/41.73
9. HARLEY VD BISSCHOP: 2007 BWP gelding by Dulf Van Den Bisschop x Coronado
HARRY ALLEN (IRL), Bertram Allen: 0/9/54.14
10. L’ARTISTE DE TOXANDRA: 2011 BWP gelding by Toulon x Kashmir Van Schuttershof
IOLI MYTILINEOU (GRE), Elia Construction SA: 1/80.45
Grace Debney Races to Win the $50,000 Helgstrand Jewellery 1.45m Grand Prix CSI2*
The afternoon culminated in a total of 45 combinations vying for the prize in $50,000 Helgstrand Jewellery 1.45m Grand Prix CSI2*. The USA’s Chrstine McCrea celebrated her birthday in style as the first on the field to produce a clear round and earn a spot in the jump-off with Julieta. Tom and Max Wachman (IRL) were the next to carve out space for themselves in the short track with Lazzaro Delle Schiave and Berlux Z, respectively. By the halfway mark, only Lexi Ray (CAN) and Lucy Deslauriers (USA) had managed to add their names to the call back. Several more saw success in the second half and, at the first round’s end, an even dozen entries had qualified to return for Lima’s final jump-off test.
McCrea kicked off competition across the short course with another fantastically-flawless effort by leaving all rails in the cups with an impressive time of 41.03 seconds. Tom Wachman followed suit by producing a quicker time but faulting one rail. The lead changed hands rapidly after that, with Max Wachman first shaving two seconds off of McCrea’s time, and Grace Debney (GBR) immediately knocking off an additional two seconds to shoot to the top.
Many followed and gave it their best shot, but none could come close to the young rider’s blazing fast time of 37.57 seconds with Temple Equestrian LLC’s 11-year-old CDE mare Zarina De Vidau (Diamant De Semilly).
“It is really great to be able to compete in these international grand prix events now, even though it is definitely intimidating,” stated Debney, who is just 17 years old. “There are so many people here and each one of them is an incredible rider.”
She attributes the win to her trust in the mare and the long-term relationship they have developed over the course of the past four years.
“When I bought her, we were just planning on her being my step-up horse in the High Junior Jumpers, and she has done so much more than I thought,” detailed Debney. “Her whole heart is in it, and she wants to win every time she goes in the ring. I was starting to get stuck on some numbers in the jump-off, but we know each other well so Sam [Schaefer] told me just to ride her how I normally would and let her be fast on her own. She really opens up on this field, so I think the longer lines where I could really gallop as well as the tight roll-back to the skinny jump that I knew I could trust her to leave up is where we had the difference.”
It was a close call but Alicia Gadban-Lewis (CAN) managed to snatch up the red ribbon with her own 10-year-old Oldenburg mare Beneficial (Banderas) after landing only a little less than four-tenths of a second ahead of Max Wachman in 39.48 seconds. Wachman and Coolmore Show Jumping’s 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding Berlux Z (Berlin x Major De La Cour) were the final members of the victory gallop with a finishing time of 39.85 seconds.
Final Results: $50,000 Helgstrand Jewellery 1.45m Grand Prix CSI2*
1. ZARINA DE VIDAU: 2011 CDE mare by Diamant De Semilly
GRACE DEBNEY (GBR), Temple Equestrian LLC: 0/0/37.57
2. BENEFICIAL: 2012 Oldenburg mare by Banderas
ALICIA GADBAN-LEWIS (CAN), Alicia Gadban-Lewis: 0/0/39.48
3. BERLUX Z: 2011 Zangersheide gelding by Berlin x Major De La Cour
MAX WACHMAN (IRL), Coolmore Show Jumping: 0/0/39.85
4. ENANDA: 2009 KWPN mare by Nabab De Reve x Holland
LUCY DESLAURIERS (USA), Luja LLC: 0/0/39.86
5. JULIETA: 2010 Holsteiner mare by Canstakko x Casall
CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Windsor Show Stables: 0/0/41.03
6. DELEYN: 2011 Holsteiner mare by Larimar 7 x Dobel’s Cento
KEVIN MEALIFF (IRL), Sofia Cady: 0/4/38.22
7. GALLIANO VM: 2011 KWPN gelding by Ukato x Vincenzo
LAURA KRAUT (USA), St. Bride’s Farm: 0/4/38.92
8. LAZZARO DELLE SCHIAVE: 2009 Italian Sport Horse gelding by Acodetto 2 x Gluecksgriff
TOM WACHMAN (IRL), Coolmore Show Jumping: 0/4/39.21
9. MONBEG THUNDERBALL B: 2012 Irish Sport Horse gelding by O-Piloth
VERONICA TRACY (USA), Coleridge Equestrian BV: 0/4/39.26
10. DUVERIE: 2011 Selle Francais gelding by Diamant De Semilly x Damiro B
RUPERT WINKELMANN (GER), Eickendorf Horses: 0/4/41.98